I’ve watched hundreds of movies — no, make that thousands — on the big screen.
“Chain Letter” has the dubious distinction of being the only movie I’ve ever seen that had no recognizable ending.
Seriously. I was sitting there, watching the movie alone (the theater in which I saw this film sold only one other ticket to the show all day — and it was a Friday, when lots of people generally flock to new shows) when suddenly the credits began to roll.
There is no finale. The movie just … ends. Which left me elated because, hey, it was over, but bewildered.
The location is California, where a bunch of high school kids receive a chain letter that’s forwarded via e-mail. The deal is that you die if you don’t forward the letter to five other people, or at least that’s what the sender wants everyone to think.
After the setup, there follows a stalk ‘n’ slash combined with a spatter of torture porn. (I thought that junk had finally become extinct.) Many of the students pay no attention to the e-mail and delete it as soon as they receive it.
There are several suspects on hand. One of them is a weirdo teacher (Brad Dourif) who enjoys talking about how much technology has allowed others to invade our personal lives. He tells his class he would like some privacy and then stops all of their cell phones from working while he lectures.
On the trail of the killings that begin with the exceedingly grisly death of one of the school’s athletes is an investigator (Keith David, one of my favorite character actors). He’s not smart enough to really research the killings, so he goes to a victim’s funeral and tries to chat up those attending. No dice.
One of the girls, Jessie (Nikki Reed) is intelligent and does some Internet research. She is terrified by what she discovers and shares with the other students, who are equally horrified.
Meanwhile, the bodies keep piling up. And whoever is slaying the young people has a thing for a special kind of heavy chain (get it? “Chain” letter?) that is used in ghastly fashion.
This really isn’t a movie. It’s like somebody thought of some scenes and edited them together.
I’m thinking I’m among the few who saw quite possibly the worst movie of the year … perhaps the decade.